Friday, December 31, 2021

December 2021 Round-Up

There was a time when I created 40-60 garments a year and wore 95% of them. So it seems really strange to be creating only 20 garments this year. I don't believe it's more than last year because I did start 2020 strong before the pandemic set in. It's probably about the same.

2021 has also been the year where one ~ I've sewn more patterns from my pattern collection and two ~ used more independent patterns. This trend will continue into 2022.  As my lifestyle has become more relaxed, the indie patterns seem to be the ones I turn to.  And now that I have a great source for printing PDF patterns (see my last post), I will be using even more indies.

This is a long post so I've tried to keep the descriptions short. If you're short on time, look at the photos and skip to the conclusion at the end where I discuss my goal for 2022.

Here are the items I created this year ~

I finished this duster/maxidress in early January 2020. In all honesty it hasn't been worn since I took these pictures. Not because I don't like it but because I just haven't had anywhere to wear it to.  Once I started going back to work, it was spring and not what I wanted to wear.  Hopefully in 2022 it will get worn.

I tried hard to avoid this trend. But I thought I could wear this at home, something comfortable and cute for zoom meetings. I wore this once and hated it. I AM NOT a Jumpsuit wearer.  This garment just cemented it. I won't be making more. It's not the Style Arc pattern, it's me...

I cut this out in 2019 pre-pandemic. I love this Simplicity Pattern 8687. I've made several of them and worn them off and on this spring.  They were great to throw on the top of outfits as I headed to work.  This is probably the last one I will make but it was fun to stitch it up.

This was my January Janome Ambassador project. I made it over the Christmas break in 2020 and that is a story in itself. I really wasn't ready physically to spend a lot of time sewing but I pushed through. This TNT shirt didn't make it to the blog until March because Janome project.  However, the blog post will tell you that not only did I match EVERY single plaid intersection but I also applied the applique to the front and back of this shirt by machine.

This tiered Verano maxi dress was a fave last spring. It was easy to construct and the very first pattern I've used by Christine Haynes. I love tiered maxi dresses and really need to make another tiered version of this pattern. This began my first big burst of sewing this year.

I made this top as an "Inspired By" garment and totally fell in love with this tunic. It's my most worn piece of 2021. It was so practical, easy to make and easy to wear. It also totally fits my lifestyle now.

These tops were all about the fabric. I bought these knit panel prints from Marcy Tilton and used them for my favorite knit top - Pembroke by Cashmerette. I felt like I needed to add a few of them for layering to my wardrobe and these two fit the bill.

I will admit this is my go-to pattern for a dress ~ my hacked version of the Deer n Doe Myosotis Dress. The dress is comfortable, easy to wear and makes up well in a variety of different fabrics.  In April I shared this sleeveless, midi-length version and this maxi length one with long sleeves made using a border print.

This tunic jumpstarted by journey with border prints. I mean I used one in the Myosotis but I really played around with the print for this garment.  This was the second of four Vogue 9299 tunics I completed this year. It's such a comfortable piece that there are two more in my cut pile for 2022.

Summer came and I was vaxxed, headed to work and even going out with friends. While Covid wasn't beat, we did seem to be living with it. I went to Sew Camp with my friends and made a couple of pieces that I lived in during the summer.

This was my most favorite make of 2021. I loved the flow of the dress, the print and how wonderful I felt every time I wore it.

My second Christine Haynes Verano dress had changes made to it because I'm sewing it. However, I loved it and it was a wonderful addition to my summer wardrobe.

My June Janome Project emphasized a technique that you could do with an attachment on your sewing machine. I had so much fun incorporating the circles into this MimiG shirt. It's another conversation starter when I'm out and about.

Another lightweight linen print Vogue 9299 because this tunic amplifies summer dressing.  Cool, comfortable, easy to wear and stylish.

I said I wasn't making another Myosotis dress because I own a ton of them! But when I bought this gingham print from StyleMaker Fabrics it wanted to be nothing else but a button down shirt dress. So here you go! It was another well worn garment this summer.

This is what I think of when I remember my Style Arc Hope Dress - how big and loose it is! LOL! I made this at the end of the summer/early fall and will probably change my mind about it next summer on the first really hot & humid day. I probably won't make another one but it easy to sew.

Another day, another Vogue 9299 tunic!  This one in this amazing panel print cotton sateen from Fabric Mart's brick n mortar store. I love this tunic and get compliments EVERY time I wear it because it's just fun!

While I made this cardigan and swingy Pembroke tee in late spring, it wasn't photographed until the fall. I wore the cardigan some but wore the heck out of the swingy Pembroke tee. I need to make another one next spring!

Conclusion ~

My sewing definitely suffered because of the pandemic. I worked from home for the first four months of 2021 and only went into work 2-3 days a week from May to November. I owned enough tops to be zoom ready for meetings at the beginning and end of the year. During the summer when I went to work, I already owned a lot of summer maxi dresses to wear since they saw very little action in 2020. So while I made lists and thought of things to sew, they just didn't come to fruition.

I used six indie pattern companies 
       Bluedot Patterns
       Style Arc 
        - Christine Haynes
        - Cashmerette
        - Deer 'n Doe
       Mimi G

There were 2 Simplicity patterns and 1 Vogue pattern used 4x.  This is probably an accurate reflection of my pattern buying too.  BTW, I purchased way more indie patterns than I used this year - hopes and dreams y'know. I had two UFOs and one item I made for Janome but never shared here.

While I bought a lot more fabric at the end of the year, I didn't buy much at the beginning of the I have no in and out totals.  Also with enough storage space I just haven't felt as pressed about my fabric collection.  Though the sting of moving it is starting to wear off! *LOL*

The biggest change this year was to my sewing spaces.  I started 2021 with this amazing sewing loft. Yes, I still miss the room because I spent a lot of time conceiving and setting it up. I was VERY disappointed when it didn't work.  I partially moved downstairs in February, definitely moved all of the sewing machines down in the spring and FINALLY got the Resource Center set up in the loft in the fall.

My Resolution for 2022 ~

I haven't felt like sewing much of 2021. Then I read a book by Jodie Picoult and in her epilogue she talks about HER experience with Covid this year. The isolation, the fear, family members who contracted it, her inability to write (insert the word sew here), how anxious she was and how the isolation caused everyone to make changes to their lives.  She also talks about how romance novels with their happy endings helped her navigate the beginning of the pandemic.  

I felt so seen by her epilogue.  When she described how the isolation caused people to change their lives, I realized I did just that in 2020. I packed up my life and moved to my own place.  Living alone for the first time in my life. I was also dealing with a pretty serious illness that could have really changed my life. 

Pre-Covid when we could go about our lives, I could mostly tuck away any unhappiness. I used sewing and the sewing cave on the weekend as my retreat. So I changed my life, the way I thought and handled things and became a lot happier.  However, I realize that while I had spurts of sewing, I didn't create the way I did pre-Covid. I had started to think of sewing as a necessity instead of the art form it really is to me.  After reading her words, it really hit me that SEWING is ART to me. I need to create and enjoy the artistic process. 

I gave that up in 2020 and 2021. I'm taking it back in 2022. I'm sewing what I want, when I want, if I can wear it out and about or not. I'm getting back to enjoying the process and sewing as the creative spirit moves me. Sewing the things that make my heart sing...Covid has taken way too many things from me in the last two years.  I refuse to give it this anymore.

Now that I'm at the end of this very long ass post, I want to wish you a very Happy New Year! I hope you take many creative journeys in 2022.  I hope that your sewing becomes everything you want and need it to be. I also wish you peace, joy and happiness.  

Please be careful out there because Covid is still raging...and I hope you will join me in 2022 for more sewing adventures! always more later!

Monday, December 27, 2021

Starting my Holiday Sewcation

I'm more than thrilled that I have 10 days off from my day job!  When I look back to 2020 and I was recovering from surgery, I feel so blessed that I'm doing well now and able to indulge in my passion.

A few things before I head in...

My Cut Pile ~

I've made a cut pile. I know the contentious cut pile - LOL! - but this is how I sew best lately. I'm aiming to make 4-5 items out of the pile.

A New PDF Pattern Source ~

Y'all know I hate PDF Patterns for two reasons - one the cutting and taping. Why??? Second - I always felt like printing the patterns professionally made the PDFs even more expensive. But I've been coming around for EXTRA special patterns. Please don't think I've gone over to the dark side but every once in awhile I see something on the interwebs that entices me.

So my friend Laquana has started printing PDF patterns for the masses. Y'all when I tell you this is too easy, please believe me.  The things that challenged me about PDF Plotting was downloading the "right" file, telling them the number of pages and then finding out that the shipping cost more than the printing.  Again Why???

With Laquana you simply send the file and she prints it.  No need to tell her a page count.  She also prints instructions for just 99 cents. Even the mailing is cheaper than PDF Plotting. Now please note that Laquana is a US based printing company only! 

I took some pictures of the presentation so you can see how it comes... 

Packing from Laquana

New pattern plus instructions rubber banded together

I love that it comes folded instead or rolled cause easier to store!

Instructions are printed in color & double sided

I store my patterns in legal size expandable folders and the package fits in no problem!

Next on my cutting table ~

I've started working on my first project from the cut pile.  A shirt of course! LOL!  I'm using a border print from Mood Fabrics and have totally enjoyed the process of constructing it so far. It's nice to see that the prep and cutting have been successful.

This will be my last post before my "End of Year" round up post because I'm enjoying my time sewing.  There will be project specific posts in the New Year! always more later!



Friday, December 10, 2021

Well it's December Twenty Twenty-One

2021 has been a strange year in so many ways.  I had so much hope when the year dawned because there was a vaccine available and a fair and equitable distribution plan was being enacted.  Americans had just elected a new President and it seemed as if we would have a new normal come Summer.

Now as December speeds towards the end of the year, people's choices not to vaccinate or get a booster has meant that we're on to the next variant, another surge which will claim more lives and in some countries more restrictions or another lockdown.  Here in the US, since lockdowns are so reviled, we're learning to live with Covid, people are still dying of Covid and other treatable health issues because hospitals are maxxed out.

Everything about our lives pre-Covid has changed. If you deny it, then you're either oblivious, unwilling to accept the change or delusional. Yes, I did say that because we're entering Year Three of dealing with Covid.

Covid has caused change in my life too. After almost two years of primarily working from home ~ I go into the office two days a week from April to November. Now that it's dark at 4:30pm, I'm mostly working from home. Which of course has changed what and how I much I sew.

Not only sew but buy, too.  I go through stages where I buy no fabric or patterns for months and then I lose my mind and buy all the things.  All this to say that 2021 has continued to be all about change for me.

In January, I changed my sewing room again.

I changed what I'm comfortable wearing at home especially during the winter months.

I changed how I view my hobby.  Solidifying it as a hobby and having a limited role as a social media influencer role. Realizing that route is not for me and better left to the sewists who want to take that on. However, I will rep Janome 'til the day I die! 

I've changed what types of fabrics I'm buying and storing.  My life has changed and while I love beautiful woolens and silks they're not practical for my life now. That's not to say that an amazing fabric might not make it into my wardrobe but they won't be the basis of my wardrobe the way they were before.  Also, while I'm making fabric purchases, it could be weeks, months or years before it actually becomes a garment.

Mostly though, I've changed my attitude.  For years I used sewing and creativity as a refuge from bad job situations, messy relationships issues and as a safe haven from anything I didn't want to deal with.  2021 brought an end to all of that and now I sew as the spirit moves since I have peace in so many areas of my life. THAT in itself has been a learning experience.

My sewjo has come and gone several times this year and sometimes for extended periods which is a new thing for me. It's also reflected here on the blog since this is the first year that I've posted so lightly.  However, as the year comes to an end and Christmas approaches, I will have vacation days to sew and wallow in my craft. I'm so looking forward to the wallowing!

I do have a list.  I've cut quite a few items out and the desire to sew is STRONG! I even have a series of shirts cut out for "The Borderprint Shirt Series Part 2". I'm loving the challenge of puzzling out how to work with and show off the border prints to their maximum advantage.  So there will be more garment posts before the end of the year and into 2022.

While I don't believe this will be the last post of the year, I do hope you will continue to follow my sewing journeys into 2022. always more later!


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